An employee of Cairo University has been shot to death on campus by a former co-worker, the interior ministry said, in the latest case of femicide in Egypt.
“An employee of a faculty of Cairo University… fired gunshots” at a female colleague, “which resulted in her death”, the ministry said in a statement.
The suspect was later tracked down in Matrouh governorate, west of the capital, where he “committed suicide by shooting himself with the same weapon” used in the murder.
The state-run Al-Ahram newspaper said the woman, Nurhan, had rejected a marriage proposal from her colleague, Ahmed, who had repeatedly harassed her. It only identified them by their first names.
The gunman had previously been arrested after “setting fire to the victim’s car five years ago and threatening her via text messages”, Al-Ahram added.
A day earlier, local media said a woman had been shot dead Tuesday by a former fiance while leaving work in the Heliopolis district of Cairo.
The conservative North African country has seen a spate of killings that have triggered anger and fears of spreading violence.
In June 2022, Nayera Ashraf was stabbed to death in front of her university in Mansoura, north of Cairo, after rejecting the advances of fellow student Mohamed Adel.
A video of the attack went viral, and Adel was later sentenced to death and executed in June.
Another woman, 21-year-old Kholood al-Sayed, was killed at her home in the northern city of Port Said in 2022 by her fiance after trying to distance herself from him, according to prosecutors.
In August 2022, a student identified as Salma was killed in Zagazig, north of the capital, by a man whose advances she had rejected.
Murder is a capital offence in Egypt, which carried out the world’s fourth-highest number of executions last year, according to Amnesty International.
However patriarchal legislation and conservative interpretations of Islam have contributed to severely limiting women’s rights in the country.
On social media, Egyptians voiced frustration at the murder of yet another woman.
“How long are women going to pay the ultimate price of their lives for saying no?” the feminist education initiative Speak Up said on social media.
Egyptian association Edraak Foundation for Development and Equality recorded more than 1,000 cases of violent crimes against women in 2022, including 301 murders.
“These are not just numbers; these are women who had dreams and ambitions and lives that a criminal put an end to simply because he was rejected,” the foundation posted on social media Thursday.